Series Created By: Matt Hubbard, Alan Yang
Starring: Maya Rudolph, Ron Funches, Stephanie Styles, Adam Scott, Joel Kim Booster, Nat Faxon
Plot Summary: In “Loot,” billionaire Molly Novak (Maya Rudolph) has a dream life, complete with private jets, a sprawling mansion and a gigayacht — anything her heart desires. But when her husband of 20 years betrays her, she spirals publicly, becoming fuel for tabloid fodder. She’s reaching rock bottom when she learns, to her surprise, that she has a charity foundation run by the no-nonsense Sofia Salinas (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), who pleads with Molly to stop generating bad press. With her devoted assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) by her side, and with the help of Sofia and team — including mild-mannered accountant Arthur (Nat Faxon) and her optimistic, pop-culture-loving cousin Howard (Ron Funches) — Molly embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Giving back to others might be what she needs to get back to herself.
I think that Loot had me sold almost from jump. After all, it is created by Matt Hubbard and Alan Yang, the Emmy winning team who made their bones on Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock. To further add icing to the cake, it stars Maya Rudolph with a supporting cast that is impressive to say the least including Parks star Adam Scott. The first episode does a wonderful job at giving you everything you need to know in just two very lean and efficient scenes. The opening establishes just how rich our main character, Molly (Maya Rudolph), and her husband, John (Adam Scott), are by way of her birthday gift, a huge yacht. The very next scene sees Molly having a team of people getting her ready for a lavish 45th birthday party. She is all smiles until everybody leaves and, for a brief moment, she stops pretending and clues us in to how she really feels: deeply unhappy.
Sure, this kind of money brings along vast freedom and opportunities, yet, as we see early on, even the simple pleasure of having dinner alone with her husband is impossible. Later on in this scene, it is revealed that her husband has been seeing a much younger woman. The pair split, which leads to Molly having time to do work for a non-profit she didn’t even know she owned. It’s a credit to the writers that, in just two scenes within the show’s first ten minutes, we the audience gets everything we need in terms of setting up characters and the show’s world-building.
This show is lean and doesn’t ever give you filler. Every scene is working in service to set-up or pay-off plot points and ultimately move the narrative forward. This is where seasoned writers really shine. I was also happy that seemingly one-dimensional characters are given depth. For example, Nicholas, Molly’s assistant, seems to be a typical gay best friend but is given his own storylines which is refreshing. This also goes for Molly’s quirky co-workers who are not simply just easy punch lines but consistently feel fleshed-out and interesting.
I have seen some reviews that say the big issue with this series is that it’s hard to relate to Molly because she is mega-rich and has all of her needs and indeed all of her whims met. I don’t entirely disagree with this point. However, I think this complaint from critics is ultimately reductive. Molly may be wealthy, which makes her life easier, yes, but throughout the first five episodes, we see her grow and become less selfish. My hope is that, by the end of the season or maybe its lifespan, however long that may be, that we see her really grow and put less importance on material things. You just can’t expect such a huge change from a character in such a short amount of time.
The biggest selling point of this show is of course Maya Rudolph, who is given ample chances to dazzle. She is likable, charming and someone whose side you are on automatically. This also has a supporting cast that is fantastic including: Adam Scott, Ron Funches, Stephanie Styles, Joel Kim Booster and Nat Faxon just to name a few.
Episode five keeps developing this, will-they-won’t-they between Molly and Arthur (Nat Faxon), which is a charming storyline. I also love the budding friendship storyline between Nicholas and the lovable Howard (Ron Funches). So far, this show is funny, with heart, but never goes too sappy. It gives me everything I need. So called “critics” be damned.
Loot is currently debuting new episodes on AppleTV+ every Friday.
Big film nerd and TCM Obsessed. Author of The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema from Schiffer Publishing. Resume includes: AMC’s The Bite, Scream Magazine etc. Love all kinds of movies and television and have interviewed a wide range of actors, writers, producers and directors. I currently am a regular co-host on the podcast The Humanoids from the Deep Dive and have a second book in the works from Bear Manor.